Wednesday, December 11, 2013
'You Wish to Be Anonymous?' | Albert Finney (1970)
Index of other entries in The Christmas Carol Project
Albert Finney's musical Scrooge moves the charitable solicitors to later in the story, after Cratchit's already gone home and Scrooge is himself heading out for the night. The two men, one quite portly, accost Scrooge in the street outside his office and follow him for a way, trying to talk him into contributing.
The move of the scene doesn't seem to be about the story so much as it does about musical numbers. After Cratchit leaves, he has a song with his children while going about the pleasant task of Christmas shopping. In contrast, Scrooge's encounter with the solicitors propels him into a song as he makes his way through the Christmas crowds, singing about his hatred for humanity. More on those songs when we get to those sections, but it's important to note that this version feels free to adjust the story to fit the needs of the music.
Regarding the solicitors themselves, they're as annoying as Scrooge's nephew was in the earlier scene. They seem particularly clueless about getting the message that Scrooge isn't going to give them anything. Unlike other versions where Scrooge is kind of trapped in his office, this Scrooge has the option of walking away and he takes it. Stubbornly, the pushy solicitors block his way and - once he moves around them - follow him until he gets so angry that he swings his cane and screams about decreasing the surplus population. He's a mean person and it's hard to sympathize with him too much, but I can start to see why he launches into the misanthropic song right after this. So far, the Christmas celebrants Scrooge has encountered have been insufferable.